MORGANTOWN , W.Va.West Virginia Universitys Organic Research Farm will host its annual field day from 1:30-7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5.


The farm is situated on 71 acres of land off of Route 705 and Stewartstown Road in Morgantown and houses studies on field crops, livestock, organic pasture management, vegetable production, soil quality and weed, insect and disease management.


As part of the farms mission to provide best-practice recommendations for organic farmers and home gardeners, the field day events will include in-depth workshops, wagon tours of research plots and demonstrations of organic practices. Some new activities this year are demonstrations of organic production methods for biofuel crops such as canola, sunflower, switchgrass and soybean.


The multidisciplinary team from the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences and WVU Extension Service is beginning its 10th year of research on organic production methods.


Organic farming is one of the fastest growing sectors in American agriculture,said Jim Kotcon, associate professor of plant and soil sciences.The West Virginia University Organic Research Farm provides the information needed to help growers succeed in this rapidly expanding market.


The field day is free and open to everyone including organic growers, students, who want to learn about alternative food production practices, home gardeners, who want to avoid pesticides, conventional growers, who are considering transitioning to organic, and extension agents or pest-management advisers.


We hope people will see the possibilities in organic agriculture and learn solutions to organic production problems,Kotcon said.Most importantly, we hope they have fun.


The gates will open at 1 p.m. with workshops beginning at 1:30 p.m. Wagon tours begin at 4 p.m., and a dinner sponsored by the WVU Plant and Soil Sciences Club will be served at 6 p.m.


Participation in the event is free, but pre-registration is appreciated. For more information or to register, contact Kotcon at 304-293-8822 or ” jkotcon@wvu.edu rel=nofollow> jkotcon@wvu.edu .